Our instructors at the Lanzi Academy of Dance are lifelong dancers, and we all teach from the heart. We reinforce with positive instructional strategies, and we provide a welcoming and comforting environment in which to grow, learn, and express one's creative nature. We at L.A. Dance strive to compete at the highest levels of completion, while keeping that competition in a healthy state of mind. Please take a moment to get to know the instructors the make up L.A. Dance.
Christina Lanzi-John, Owner
Growing up a Katy Lyon Dancer, Christina Lanzi-John knows the importance of hard work, dedication, and perseverance. She also recognizes that tradition, values, and camaraderie are equal in importance to technique and style.
Christina spent her summers competing in national competitions and studying technique, style, and the history of dance at Point Park University.
At age 17, Christina gracefully danced her way to the final cuts of the world famous Radio City Rockettes. A 2005 graduate of Brownsville High School, Christina was awarded the Presidential Scholarship to attend California University of Pennsylvania. While at CalU, she studied Elementary Education and minored in Theater and Dance. Working in nearly every facet of the Theater and Dance department, Christina’s collegiate career was highlighted by playing the Snow Queen in the area’s annual production of the Nutcracker. Previously to performing as the Snow Queen, Christina also played Snow, Flower, Spanish, Reed Flute, and Azalea in the Nutcracker.
During a production of the Christmas Carol, the Theater and Dance Department named Christina Assistant Choreographer, and in multiple Spring Galas held at the University, she choreographed many pieces of her own.
During an audition at Point Park, Christina was selected to dance for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines., but declined the opportunity to her dreams of opening her own studio.
In 2010, Christina purchased the Katy Lyon Dance Center from Tara Fronczek, who purchased the studio from Katy’s Daughter, Mia Faris. The lineage from which the Lanzi Academy of Dance was spawn is deeply rooted in Uniontown’s community. Christina and her staff are a family, and they’ve watched and helped each other grow personally and professionally.
The Lanzi Academy of Dance has seen its share of success over the last seven years. From choreography awards to individual dancers’ accolades, the performers and educators at LA Dance strive to become the standard.
Christina is member of Dance Educators of American, and she and her studio manager, Donna Morovic recently attended Rhee Gold’s DanceLife Retreat, which focused on the art of ballet.
Christina and her husband, Mark reside in Uniontown with their son, Mark.
Donna Marovic, Studio Manager
Donna Marovic has been teaching, choreographing and directing for over 25 years. She's taught Ballet, Jazz and Theatre Dance at California University of PA for many years and was the Artistic Director for the department's dance productions, which include their annual production of The Nutcracker. While a faculty member, she choreographed A Chrstmas Carol, Cabaret, and numerous other musical productions and concerts. Ms. Marovic has served as Ballet Mistress to The Mon Valley Ballet Theatre and choreographed several summer productions for The Mon Valley Performing Arts Academy. Donna has a B.S. in Secondary Education and has studied dance under numerous instructors. Miss Marovic is a current member of Dance Educators of America.
Tara Spaw Fronczek
Tara Spaw Fronczek holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance with a Jazz concentration from Point Park University. Tara spent several years as a professional dancer performing at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Holland America Cruise Lines, and Stiletto Entertainment. Tara went on to become the Dance Supervisor at Busch Gardens Williamsburg where her responsibilities included hiring dancers, directing and choreographing main stage shows, and maintaining show integrity. For five years, Tara was the owner of Katy Lyon Dance Center, and is now so happy as an instructor here at LA Dance. Tara is also a Physical Therapist Assistant at Physical Therapy At The Orthopedic Group, and teaches Pilates and Barre fitness classes at LPS Strength & Meditation.
Cristy Kopec-Frantz, who began her dance training at the age of four, studied various forms of dance with Katy Lyon, Linda Butcho, Tammy Croftcheck, Donna Marovic, and Katreena Snyder. Cristy majored in Dance at Slippery Rock University and graduated from California University with a degree in History and a minor in Theatre/Dance. While a student at Cal U, she perfomed many lead roles, including Dew Drop Fairy, Arabian, and Lead Spanish in the Nutcracker and in numerous other dance productions. In 2001, she traveled to Kiev, Ukraine to study ballet and was chosen to perform a jazz solo in a gala at the National Opera House. Cristy has been teaching dance for 20 years and is currently a member of Dance Educators of America.
Devin Macho has been an instructor at LA Dance for the past eight years. Growing up in the Katy Lyon/LA Dance Family, Devin danced for 15 years before finding the inspiration to teach. Ms. Macho works as Therapeutic Staff Support while completing her Masters Program. Dance has always been her favorite form of expression, and Ms. Macho encourages her students to 'dance from and with their whole hearts'.
Kristina Pramuk Buchanan joined the faculty at Lanzi Academy of Dance as a ballet instructor in 2016. Before this, she had taught ballet for 25 years with the former Mon Valley Dance Academy, Lisa Elek Dance Studio, and the Tricia Ricco Dance Studio. She also teaches for Uniontown Area High School where she has taught Spanish for 23 years.
She started her dance training with Larraine Susa and Kathleen Britain. At California University of PA and the Mon Valley Dance Theatre, she trained under Richard Helldobler and Lanzi’s own Donna Marovic. She has also trained with Andrew Drost, Stephane Andre, Rafael Maldonado-Lopez, Craig Salstein, Soili Arvola, Leo Ahonen, Desiree Witt, Lauren Slone and Kenneth Nickel. She traveled to the Ukraine to train with Victor Litvinov. While at the university, she got to perform many roles with the Mon Valley Ballet Theatre. Her repertoire includes roles in The Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Giselle, Snow Queen and Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nutcracker, Alice in Alice in Wonderland, and Swanhilda in Coppelia
Kathy has been teaching dance for over 30 years. Her students have gone on to dance professionally in many companies and shows including the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, the Pacific Northwest Ballet, Disney, Universal Studios, Carnival and Royal Caribbean cruise lines, Kentucky Ballet, and Alvin Alley. She has won numerous choreography awards, as well as overalls at both regional and national levels. Kathy's students have won scholarships at Broadway Dance Center, Steps, Alvin Alley, WCDE, NYCDA, JUMP, Point Park, Ballet Met, and Joffery to name a few. She has also installed the love of dance in students that have gone on to teach, including her sons.
Along with teaching at Lanzi's, Kathy has taught for many reputable studios and teachers including Carplez Center for the Arts in Pittsburgh, Dance World in Woodbridge, VA., Doris Singer, and Shely Pack-Manning, the immediate past president of DMA.
Scott & Stephanie Fichter
Stephanie started dancing at the age of 3 and continued to dance throughout her high school years. She was a student teacher for her old dance studio where she began to choreograph routines. Her focal point of dance was jazz, acro, and lyrical while she was a dancer. She won several competition awards during her dance years. She graduated college at California University of PA and has her MBA in Human Resources Management. After graduating college, she pursued several dance workshops focusing in hip-hop and fitness style of dance in Pittsburgh, PA. In 2010, her and her husband, Scott started teaching hip-hop fitness classes in Pittsburgh, Ohio, and West Virginia where they developed a modern style of workout fitness routine. With Stephanie’s background in dance, she decided she wanted to start teaching it back in dance studios. Knowing Christina almost her whole life, she knew she had to take her daughter to her studio and was thrilled to be a teacher. She has two children, Aubrie (4) and Aiden (1 ½). They both love dancing in the living room when music comes on and love practicing with mama. This is Aubrie’s 3rd year dancing at the studio and Aiden will be attending when he is of age. Stephanie brings a modern style of hip-hop dance to her classes where she loves watching the latest styles from online and different shows to bring to the students.
Heather Goelz-Carpenter is a native of Pittsburgh, were she resides in the South Hills with her husband and two children. Heather is a 97’ alum of the dance program at Point Park and will finish her MBA SAEM at Point Park. As her performance career ended she came back to teach adjunct jazz for Point Park. Currently she teaches all the tap dance courses at the university. Performance credits include Civic Light Opera, American Music Theater, Celebrity Cruises, and performances as a Radio City Rockette in The Radio City Christmas Spectacular in NYC and on tour.
Taylor fell in love with dance at the young age of 2 and began dancing at the Terry Sheehan School of Dance in Brownsville, PA. At the age of 12, she then continued to study at the Lanzi Academy of Dance in Uniontown, PA under the direction of Christina Lanzi-John and Donna Marovic, until she graduated. She has won many regional and a national title with her competition team and numerous special judges awards. Taylor had the opportunity to dance at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL and on Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. She has also performed a lead role in the Nutcracker at the State Theater under the direction of Donna Marovic as the Snow Queen. While dancing in high school, she assisted the faculty in class, and upon graduation had gotten the opportunity to teach her own classes. She currently is a student at California University of Pennsylvania, studying Biology with hopes to become a Physical Therapist in the near future.
Mia was born into a dancing legacy and she proudly carried out that legacy for over 35 years. Being Katy Lyon’s daughter she had big shoes to fill and hopefully has made her late mother proud. Mia truly loves the art of dance and teaching children. She is very excited to start her second act back at the studio that her mother began in 1949.
Mia has received many rewards and accolades during her long career but none she is more proud of than the success of her former students. She has students that have been Rockettes, been on Broadway, been in Tap Dogs, worked in theme parks and cruise ships. Perhaps most rewarding for Mia are her students that have chosen to teach dance. She takes great pride in the former Katy Lyon students who now have thriving studios and are instilling the love of dance and the importance of the art.
Mia feels that even though another career path may ultimately be chosen, in dance children learn the cooperative effort necessary to produce a high quality work of art. Every child benefits from quality dance training. Long-term learnings go far beyond practical applications in dance. Dancers enter society with the ability to maintain the uncompromising high standards nurtured during their dance training. Dance teaches children about music, rhythm and beat. Students also have a better understanding of spatial relationships and learn to think with both sides of their brain. All these skills enhance a child’s academic performance, as well as their physical well-being. All in all, dance is a great way to build invaluable social skills. Much more importantly however, it is an opportunity to teach your children the importance of being part of something larger than themselves. Mia is thrilled to be back with the dance family that is part of her legacy and looks forward to instilling the love of dance in every child.